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SOCIAL    AND    POLITICAL    LIFE           189

believe that every dog has his day, and "heaven's way always
goes round." If a man has ability, steadiness and ambition,
he can always rise and climb high. Who can tell? A bean-
curd seller's daughter may suddenly catch the eyes of a power-
ful official or a colonel, or his son may by a strange accident
become the doorkeeper of a city magistrate. Or a butcher's
son-in-law, who may be a poor middle-aged village school-
master, may suddenly pass the official examinations and, as
we are told in the novel Julinwaishik, one gentry scholar from
the city asks him to come and stay in his mansion, another
comes to "exchange certificates" of sworn brotherhood with
him, a third rich merchant presents him with rolls of silk and
bags of silver, and the city magistrate himself sends him two
maid-servants and a cook to relieve his peasant wife of her
kitchen labour. The butcher moves into the new mansion
in the city, happy of heart, forgetting how he had always
bullied his son-in-law, says he has always believed in him, and
is now ready to lay down the butcher's knife and be fed by
him for life. When this happens, his day has come. We envy
him but we do not call it unfair. For we call it fate, or his

Fatalism is not only a Chinese mental habit, it is part of the
conscious Confucian tradition. So closely related is this belief in
fate connected with the Doctrine of Social Status that we have
such current phrases as "keep your own status and resign your-
self to heaven's will," and "let heaven and fate have then-
way." Confucius, in relating his own spiritual progress, said
that at fifty he "knew heaven's will." At sixty "nothing he
heard could disturb him." This doctrine of fatalism is a great
source of personal strength and contentment, and accounts
for the placidity of Chinese souls. As no one has all the luck
all the time, and as good luck cannot apparently come to all,
one is willing to submit to this inequality as something perfectly
natural. There is always a chance for ambitious and able men
to rise through the imperial examinations. And if, through
luck or through ability, a man rises from the unprivileged to
the privileged class, then it is his turn. Once in the privileged
class, he is in love with it; a change of psychology takes place
along with the change in elevation. He begins to love social